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70 Cases of Suffocation After Barrel Bombs Are Dropped on Eastern Aleppo | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, barrel bombs dropped on eastern neighbourhoods in the city of Aleppo, northern Syria, yesterday, caused 70 cases of suffocation.

Opposition activists accused the Syrian regime’s forces of using poisonous chlorine gas on social networking sites.

The Director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights Rami Abdul Rahman told AFP that “helicopters belonging to the regime’s forces dropped barrel bombs on the Sukkari neighbourhood in the city of Aleppo, and more than 70 people, mostly civilians, suffered from suffocation”. The use of poisonous gasses could not be confirmed and no deaths were reported, according to Abdul Rahman.

An AFP reporter in the eastern neighbourhoods quoted one of the injured as saying “After barrel bombs were dropped on the Sukkari neighbourhood, the disgusting smell increased and this led to cases of suffocation.

The Syrian Civil Defence Authority, a relief organisation working in areas controlled by the opposition, said that government helicopters dropped barrel bombs containing chlorine gas on the Sukkari neighbourhood in eastern Aleppo.

The Syrian government has denied previous accusations of using chemical weapons in the civil war that has been ongoing for nearly five years.
The Syrian Civil Defence Authority said on its Facebook page that there had been 80 cases of suffocation, and there was no mention of fatalities. It also posted a video clip that showed children immersed in water and using oxygen masks to breathe.

The Aleppo Media Centre accused the regime’s forces of using chlorine gas. In a Tweet that was posted on Twitter, it said that there have been “Dozens of cases of suffocation after the regime’s aircraft targeted the Sukkari neighbourhood with toxic chlorine gas”. The Centre posted a video showing a number of people inside the hospital using respirators to aid breathing.

Last month, the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria accused the regime’s forces of using chlorine gas, and noted that Syrian military helicopters bombed two towns in the governorate of Idlib on the 21st of April 2014 and the 16th of March 2015.

After the results of the investigation were published, Britain, France and the US called for the imposition of sanctions on Damascus, while Russia questioned the validity of what was mentioned in it.

The report was published three years after a chemical attack that was carried out on the 21st of August 2013 resulted in hundreds of deaths in the countryside of eastern Damascus. Syria acceded to the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and agreed on a plan to dismantle its chemical arsenal of mustard and sarin gas after the attack.

Last January, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons announced that Syria’s arsenal of these weapons had been destroyed.